As a gardener I know that roots are important. They support, nourish and interact with the community in the soil. Today’s #AdventWord reminds me that it is vital that any charity, business, worshipping group or other organisation stays in contact with its roots.
Regular reviews of where you’ve come from and where you want to go are vital to ensure that you continue to grow, develop and stay connected as a community. While working with clients it can seem that the ‘business’ part of the charity is separate from the main aims of the charity, yet they must stay connected and reflect each other.
There must be a flow of information and inspiration from both sections, with transparency and integrity to guarantee policies and processes grow from and support the reason for the charities existence.
For example, I often say to people wanting to hire a building I manage, ‘This building’s primary purpose is to be a home for the local Quaker worshipping community”. Keeping that in mind means that everything else flows freely through the system. ‘Is this a good idea?’ can be compared to that statement – does it help Quakers use their building for worship, or any concerns that the meeting has discerned.
With this firmly in mind any suggestion with the defence ‘It will make more money’ when held against that purpose can be considered irrelevant. ‘It will help us maintain the building or move forward on a project’ means that the suggestion now has merit. ‘It is something that the meeting has discerned needs to happen’ now gives it the highest priority.
Roots only grow in fertile soil, so everyone involved in the decision making must ensure that they are nourished, supported and interact with the community around them. Not only the local worshipping or charity community, but the wider local community. Supporting trustees, employees and committee members is a responsibility for everyone within that community.
- How can you work with your committee to gain the support you need?